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Timothy Drehmer, MD, Joins Troy Primary Care Physicians

Rheumatologist will be only one in his area of expertise in local market

Drehmer HSTROY, Ohio (May 1, 2014)Timothy Drehmer, MD, will join Troy Primary Care Physicians in June filling a local void in rheumatologic care in Miami County by offering this service to the community.

Dr. Drehmer will be the only rheumatologist serving Miami County. According to national health organizations, the demand for rheumatologists is quickly outpacing the supply of specialists. As a result, it is unusual for patients in outlying cities to have access to rheumatologists in their own backyard. However, Dr. Drehmer said close access to specialists is critically important.

“Proximity of available health care resources is very important,” said Dr. Drehmer, who will practice within Upper Valley Professional Corporation. “Distance creates a barrier that some patients are simply not able to overcome. For physicians of any specialty to be the most valuable to their patients and to the communities they serve, it is important that they live and practice close enough to those patients and communities to be available to them.”

According to the World Health OrganizationOff Site Icon (WHO), rheumatic conditions comprise over 150 diseases and syndromes, which are often progressive and associated with pain. Some of the rheumatic diseases rheumatologists treat include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

A shortage in rheumatology care is due to an increased demand, an aging population, and decreased supply – a result of less spots for training, according to industry reports. A study by the American College of RheumatologyOff Site Icon in 2005 estimated that there were about 1.7 rheumatologists per 100,000 persons. This number was adequate for 2005, but by 2010 the industry experienced a shortage of 400 specialists. The college has estimated that the trend will only continue, resulting in a shortage of 2,500 rheumatologists by 2025.

The trend isn’t just in numbers. Studies have shown that specialists tend to be concentrated in academic centers, leaving more rural areas under served. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism late last year showed that smaller micropolitan areas of the U.S. – those with less than 50,000 people – had very few or no practicing adult rheumatologists. In some of these areas, the study said, individuals have to travel more than 200 miles to reach the closest rheumatologist.

Dr. Drehmer is excited about his new position at Troy Primary Care Physicians because it will allow him to return to clinical practice after spending the past eight years as a medical director in the pharmaceutical industry. He chose rheumatology because it was a specialty that allowed him to build long-term relationships with patients and help care for complex health issues.

“Making a rheumatology diagnosis is much like putting together pieces of a puzzle,” Dr. Drehmer said. “It’s what drew me into the field and what keeps me committed to it after all these years.”

Dr. Drehmer received his medical degree from Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Maryland. He came to the Dayton area for his residency in internal medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in rheumatology and immunology at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. He spent 18 years in clinical practice before entering the pharmaceutical industry in 2006 where he most recently served as Director of the Neurology/Immunology Franchise at Grifols Inc.

He and his wife, Angela, will reside in Troy: “We have always loved the Troy area and see it as one of the most quaint and neatest places to live,” he said.

Dr. Drehmer is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (937) 339-9865 or to learn more about Troy Primary Care Physicians visit www.TroyPrimaryCarePhysicians.com.

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